Mulling wine is a tradition that dates back to the Medieval Times and, according to some sources, a practice born out of function rather than taste. Supposedly, mulling wine – adding heat and spices to wine – was considered to be more sanitary than drinking water. Whether this reasoning was based on scientific evidence or an incredibly clever marketing scheme by a business minded barkeep, we’re grateful that our favorite winter beverage made its way through the centuries and into our mugs.
A few weeks ago, I picked up this Domaine Lucien Lardy 2013 Rosé from the French region of Beaujolais. I was hesitant because of its color and origin but decided to take a chance, mostly because of its price point ($14) and the fact that it was super chilled.
Before we get started, I’ll let you in on some of my personal criteria when it comes to purchasing wine. In summer, I’ll generally be drinking whites or rosés. In the cooler months, I choose red. I lean toward dry over fruity, old world over new world. When it comes to price, my sweet spot is in the $12 to $15 range, though I am a firm believer that you can spend a few extra dollars for a lot more value. Most importantly, I’m willing to try anything, especially when recommended by the cute clerk at the wine store.
Back to the Beaujolais rosé, this particular wine was a darker shade of pink than I tend to like. I like my rosés dry and crisp and generally the dark the color, the more fuller bodied and fruiter the wine. Also, I have associated Beaujolais wines as a cheap and fruity Thanksgiving wine and wasn’t super excited about a wine from the region.
That said, I was delighted to find the wine exceeded my misconceptions. While it was indeed fuller bodied and fruitier than I am generally used to, the rosé was still crisp and refreshing. In fact, I appreciated the subtle complexity of taste as opposed to some of the more tasteless patio pounders I’ve had in the name of crispness.
I’ve since taken the time to learn a little more about the Beaujolais region. The primary grape of the area is the red Gamay grape. High in acid but low in tannins, these wines are meant to be drank young. I hope to explore more about this particular grape and the region in future posts aka I will be drinking more of this Beaujolais rosé.